5 am Woke up with some very light contractions
6 am Realized they were time-able so I got up to prepare for our day- (5-10 mins apart, 60 seconds long) The contractions were still light enough that I could ignore them if I was busy.
7 am Had debate with Christopher about whether he should call out or go to work. He had somethings to pick up before he started paternity leave so I told him to go on in for a few hours to work. He was ready to stay home. :)
8 am Sent (Pam) doula a text so she would have a head’s up.
11 am Took shower. Contractions changed to a little stronger (3-7 mins apart, 60 secs long) Talked to doula again and she suggested I eat and take a nap. Christopher almost done at work. Called birth center and spoke to my midwife Betty.
12:30 pm I had ate by this time. Christopher arrived home and took over Andrew’s care.
1:15 pm I took a nap with my ipod
2:36 pm Woke up with very strong contractions. Realized I didn’t want to be lying down when the next one hit.
2:49 pm Pam asked via text if she could come over yet. I think it’s still too early for her to come over but she wants to.
3:00 pm Christopher & Andrew take a nap
4:00 pm Pam arrives and we talk while I’m on the birth ball. Contractions space out to 10-15 mins. I express doubt if labor is going to continue. She assured me if not tonight it would be this weekend. You can’t have false labor through 2 showers, a nap, all while eating and drinking. She said if they did stop just think how fun it would be to dye Easter eggs as a pregnancy/labor project.
4:30 pm Pam goes home but leaves her doula bag at my house.
6:00 pm Contractions start coming strong every 2-3 minutes, lose a lot of mucus plug.
6:11 pm Called Pam to let her know that I needed her to come back sooner rather than later. She asks if I needed her right then. I tell her if she has something she needs to do, go ahead. But she could hear in my voice that I needed her soon! Christopher was in and out finishing some last minute projects like washing the car and installing the car seat. Men!
6:44 pm Christopher got anxious about contacting midwife. Called Pam to see how close she was. Decided to call Betty who told us that she was very sick with a stomach flu. She said that she would come over to bring my chart but that Corina would be my midwife for the birth. I got a little emotional because out of the 5 midwives, Corina was the only one that I had not met with! Anjali (Betty’s regular back up) was already at a birth. And Debbie and Becky who I had met were not on call. Devastated at this point.
7:00 pm I went upstairs to labor. Pam arrived and worked her magic both physically and mentally. She massaged my back while giving me a pep talk. She reminded me who Corina was- the most experienced home birth midwife from the birth center besides my midwife, Betty and the owner Debbie! I knew Corina had apprenticed with midwives from Ina May Gaskin’s “The Farm”, where she was born and raised. Besides that she was a former NICU nurse. Corina had her credentials and then some. Lastly Pam reminded me that she was there for me. She was our doula for Andrew’s birth as well. My husband could be heard on Andrew’s birth video praising me and saying Pam was the one that “saved the day.” Pam fixed me up some aroma therapy to smell while I leaned on the birth ball- lavender for calming, with also clary (spelling?) and sage. It was my happy stuff!
08:00 pm Corina arrived and started taking my vitals. Everything was good to go,just needed to do an internal exam to determine dilation. This would help with the timing of my IV dose of antibiotics for GBS. Corina said since my bag of waters was bulging out she wanted to wait for a contraction to finish her assessment. Her hand was way up there at this point so she asked if I wanted her to leave it there or remove it while we waited. I laughed and told her she was already there, might as well wait. We all laughed some more and made small talk. There’s nothing like waiting for a contraction. The contraction finally began and she told me I was 9 cm dilated already! I would have been thrilled to be a 6-7. Corina said she wouldn’t have guessed I was a 9 by the way I was acting. Nothing like a little praise to give you a boost!
Vanessa, the second midwife, was on her way after picking up my chart and antibiotics from Betty.
8:30 pm I decided to do the Hibiclens wash in case the antibiotics weren’t administered in time.
9:00 pm I started to feel nauseous and hot. I hadn’t been sweating before. Vanessa arrived and the antibiotics were started. Pam fixed me a peppermint aromatherapy. I can’t believe how fast that took away the nausea! The rosewater wash cloth on the back of my neck cooled me down. After the bag dripped in, I took a shower. Pam laughed at me when I asked “permission” first. I began to think I might be feeling pushy but wasn’t sure. Pam said I could practice a push on the toilet but not in the shower! I didn’t want to get out of the shower so I ignored the pushy feeling.
10:00 pm I still wasn’t pushing despite feeling some pushy feelings. Now I was having difficulty relaxing through the contractions and vocalizing a little at the end of the contractions. Hello, Bradley Class 6. Those are typical signs of readiness to push when mom doesn’t have an overwhelming urge. I finally started pushing at the top of the contraction but I still couldn’t decide if it was good or not. Finally Corina asked me if I wanted another vaginal exam so I would feel better about pushing. Yes, please.
I’m not sure what time it was at this point but I was complete with only a very small lip of cervix left anterior. Corina assured me that it would slide away when my water broke and the baby moved down. She told me I if I pushed hard a couple of times that the membranes would release. I decided to use the bed post to squat and push to do that. They put a chux under me, pushed tentatively but harder this time, the sac ruptured with clear fluid. Yay, no mec.
Eventually I decided to get back on the bed. I thought I was going to push in a classic position. But pretty much just as soon as Pam said, “you’re not going to like that” I decided that I didn’t. Thoughts of my own Bradley teacher entered my mind. Sometimes you do things in labor that you pretty much never pictured yourself doing. Soon I was kneeling on the bed, leaned over the birth ball again, pushing. It wasn’t quite hands and knees but pretty close.
Corina said she could see the head. Pam went downstairs to be with Andrew so Christopher could come up. He was my rock while I was pushing. His hands definitely got squeezed on. Soon Corina said that’s his head, slow down, gentle pushes. Vanessa reminded me to listen to Corina’s instructions. Corina told me to stop pushing. So much better with his head out!There was a delay and then she gave me the okay to finish pushing him out. William was born!
I found out later that William’s cord was wrapped around his neck twice. Not unusual, about 20% of babies have 1 or 2 nuchal cord loops. This was a tight wrap though and later Corina said she thought she almost was going to have to clamp and cut right there. But thankfully she was able to slid it around his head. Thank you for attending my birth, Corina!
William was born on 4.22.11 at 11:19 pm weighing 7 lbs 14 oz and 21 inches long. If he had waited another 41 minutes he would have been born on his due date. But I’ll take my Good Friday and Earth Day baby! We’re all healthy and happy and very thankful that everything went smoothly for our home birth. I know home birth isn't for everyone (and it shouldn't be because not everyone has a low risk pregnancy) but it was a great choice for us.
Thanks for all the good thoughts and prayers that were sent our way!